Work Life Conflict
WORK LIFE CONLIFCT  9
Work Life Conflict
Work life balance
Juggling work and family life presents tough choices for the modernfamilies with working parents. Parents have to juggle between familydemands, work and career demands. The demands are not easy as theypresent conflicting demands from different parties. Unlike in thetraditional family setups where women were left behind to cater forthe young children and household chores, development in economy hasseen an increased number of working women. As work gets more intense,career demands rises the needs of families are compromised and thishas been blamed for many family breakdowns. Intrinsically, parents gothrough agonizing choices between caring for their small children toaccomplishing the job demands. The results of these work lifeconflict has been increased cases of stress, family relatedconflicts, job stress, low work morale and poor life management.
Most organizations have realized the needs to strike a balance andoffer working parents with opportunities to boost the economy as wellas taking care of their families. In this light, organizations havedevised various programs designed to offer balance between family andwork. These programs are offered by organization to employees in theform of work sharing, working part-time, telecommuting, offeringadequate parental leave, childcare centers and offering financialsubsidies. However, past assessment on these programs reveals thatsuch policies are still far in easing the work life conflict. Towardsthis end, this paper will analyze three family benefits programsoffered in three companies and assess their effectiveness in easingthe work life conflict.
Brief summary for the company family-responsive benefits
In this case, three American companies will be assessed in an attemptto understand the existing family responsive benefits. At VerizonCompany, employees are provided with greater convenience at workplace as part of promoting effective work life balance. Inparticular, employees are provided with a state of art gym whereemployees take classes, workouts as they chat with their co-works.Verizon Company also offers employees subsidies in office perks,encourages work flexibility through its ‘mobility work’ program.Under the mobility work program, employees are armed with tools thatcan enable them work conveniently at home in support of theirout-of-work needs. At Discovery Company, employees are provided withfree Kaleidoscope program that helps workers develop creativity(Daily muse Editor, 2014).
In addition, at Discovery Company there is an in-house wellness andchildcare facility that helps employees work without the stress oftaking care of their children. Another company with a familyresponsive benefit package is Marketwired Company in the U.S andCanada. The company has volunteer events that help employees helpeach others in the family and the community. Additionally, on top ofthese regular off work events, employees are given one day off workevery often for their own family obligations.
The analyzed family responsive programs indicate modern companieswith an increased sense to alleviate the work life conflicts. Thesecompanies serious believe in integrating work-life balance in theircore functions of business. The family responsive benefits offeredrange from standard to flexible family benefits that promote andencourage healthy work-life balance. From family day offs, flexibleworking hours, volunteering gym lesions and childcare centers makesure that employees work life balance is catered for to reduce stressrelated with work life conflicts. The companies are cognizant thatfamily life is important for families and by taking care of familyneeds helps employees maintain happy and healthy workers. In thethree companies’ Verizon, Discovery and Marketwired, employees areprovided with full competitive packages that covers paternalobligations (Daily muse Editor, 2014).
In addition, the firms have set up child centers for taking care ofchildren’s from the working parents. Far from this, each companyprovides employees with paid days off for workers to attend urgentfamily obligations. In some cases, workers are provided withequipments and tools that help them effectively carry on with theirwork even when not in office. For in instance, the Verizon‘mobility-work’ program is an effective approach through whichemployees work life balance is enhanced. Finally, the companiesprovide gyms, cooking and parental classes for workers and this is animportant aspect in easing the work life conflict.
A comparison on Verizon, Discovery and Marketwired Company familybenefits with those discussed in the film
The analysis of the family work life benefits programs offered by thethree companies are similar to those described in the film. Inparticular, one of the most important work life program provided bymost firms is flexible working hours for workers. In the film,Companies such HP and Baxter International offer flexible workinghours in which workers can carry tools and equipments to accomplishsome work while at home. This is a similar scenario with Verizon andMarketwired Company described above. The only difference is that,while Hewlett-Packard, Marriot and Baxter International offers shiftworking hours, Verizon and Marketwired prefer regular day offs andflexible hours to shifts.
Another similarity between the companies described in the film andthe researched companies is that child care centers are provided inboth cases. By building community childcare centers for workerschildren, all these firms help in alleviating parental stress relatedto pick-ups and care for young children during working hours. Anotherfamily responsive benefit offered by all companies is perk subsidiesextended to working parents (Smith, 2015). Increased subsidies areoffered to cater for the added obligation to workers and thus relieveworkers family pleasure. However, the three analyzed companies do notoffer telecommuting services like HP, Baxter and Marionetteinternationals. However, other work life balance benefits such asfree cooking, gym and medical lessons are common practice observed inall companies.
One difference is that there is no job sharing at Verizon, Discoveryand Marketwired Company as it is the case with the case studycompanies provided in the film. One reason that could explain thisaspect lies with the size and extent of job tasks performed.Hewlet-Packard, Baxter and Marionette International are big firmswith several departments that do not match those of the discussedcompanies. Companies with large departments that require continuouswork operations throughout the day best fits for job sharing as afamily responsive benefit. However, job-sharing is are importantfamily responsive benefits that greatly helps reduce work lifeconflict and ensure work continuity at the firm (Reynolds, 2005).
In the analysis, it is evident that family responsive benefits areevolving to greater levels with many firms offering more pragmaticapproach to work life balance. For instance, in all the firmsanalyzed, there is a depart from the traditional work life balance ofshift hours to equipping employees with all tools needed for workingat home. This is a great step considering that there are myriadsfactors that lead to work life stress each day. For instance, parentswho have to drop his child at a day care center may get stressedarriving at work at the expected time.
In addition, the analysis shows that parenting employees lack maximumtime to spend and monitor their children growth. As such, byproviding workers with flexible working hours and enough tools toaccomplish tasks at home gives employees morale to contributeeffectively in their work. Another aspect that has changed isincreased development of childcare centers at workplace. In all thecompanies analyzed, childcare centers are emerging as anotheralternative to flexible working hours for parents. Childcare centersprovide parents with mental peace as they work and monitor theirchildren in their working stations (Smith, 2015).
The analysis of family responsive packages offered by various firmsindicates a growing trend in family related work life balanceprograms. One aspect that is despicable is that family lives isbecoming more integrated in work related activities with an aim ofreducing employees stress and hence improve their productivity.However, the contributions made by companies to reduce employees worklife conflicts are only manageable to certain levels as some programsare considered burden to firms. This is not surprising given thatmost firms operate on lean budgets with wide departmental matters tosolve. As such, the buck stops with employees in evaluating andfinding a compromise between work and family life. Reducing work lifeconflict has to start with employees’ attitudes, values and normsand then adjust this to the work-family life dichotomy (Daily museEditor, 2014).
One family responsive benefit that I would propose to my employer isflexible working hours. Working part-time in the office and carryingsome work to accomplish at home may not sound a good idea to manybosses. However, such a work mobility program is effective and shouldbe followed with targets to ensure that employees meet the assignedwork deadlines. Flexible working hours enables working parents toattend their family obligations such as sharing a common meal andbonding sessions (Reynolds, 2005).
Flexible hours are crucial in the sustenance of marriages andensuring organization work continues even when one is away fromoffice. Working at home helps both spouses and the children to forgestronger family ties and hence reduce workers stress. Flexibleworking hours is different from work shifts or job sharing as one maynot attend urgent family matters when need arises. Flexible workinghours allows employees the flexibility to manage their time as wellas that of the organization. However, corporate bosses may declinethis policy claiming that workers may become lazy, less innovative orcreate another problem for the company. Employers would implementthis policy by laying out firm work performance principles thatcaution employees against accomplishing their roles as expected. Ibelieve having flexible working hours for parents with young childrenis the best family responsive benefit that overrides others.
In particular, parents can leave work early or arrive late dependingon circumstances at home. Flexible working hours allows the parent toattend all family obligations successfully and hence have a relaxedproductive mind when at work. This arrangement surpasses addedsubsidies, job sharing, childcare centers and work shifts. However,most employers would be hesitant in implementing such work policieswithout proper laid agreement between the organization and theemployee with regard to work performance,
Conclusion about what the readings and your findings from thecomparison
Work life conflict is an in evitable circumstance that does notdepend on individual choices but the structural difference betweenfamily and work. Couples make agonizing tradeoffs between familiesand their job demands. Increased economy and need for two coupleswork the benefit of the family have gained impetus in the modernsociety squeezing family obligations. However, the analysis revealsthat most companies have designed work life policies aimed at easingwork life related conflicts.
These policies are implemented inform of childcare centers, flexibleworking hours, financial subsidies, job sharing and working shiftsamong others. While these policies are effective in easingwork-family needs conflicts, the policies are not absolutelyeffective. Individual employees need to change their attitude, valuesand norms with regard to work and family life. Effective familyplanning and matching ones choice of job and the related organizationfamily response program would go a long way in easing work-lifeconflict. However, companies must be obligated to lessen work relateddemands for employees with young children. The best family responsivebenefit is flexible working hours for all employees this helpsemployees have ample time to bond and attend family obligationsleaving their mind less stressed during the work.
Daily muse Editor (2014). Ten Companies that seriously believe inwork-life balance. Retrieved fromhttps://www.themuse.com/advice/10-companies-that-seriously-believe-in-worklife-balance
Reynolds, J. (2005). "In the Face of Conflict: Work-LifeConflict and Desired Work Hour Adjustments". Journal ofMarriage and Family 67 (5): 1313–1331.
Smith Hedrick (2015). “Juggling Work and Family.” Retrieved fromwww.pbs.org/workfamily